There are only two possible sources of human rights; They are either God-given or they are granted by government. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.
The signers of our Declaration of Independence, however, asserted that our rights came from God and that governments were instituted to protect those unalienable Rights. Frederic Bastiat, 19th century French political economist, stated: “Life, Liberty, and Property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” Property rights are the oldest of all human rights, and the 4th Amendment was intended to protect them. Our system of government is intended to restrict the compulsions of the state and to defend the rights of the individual man.
If the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal”, is valid, then the right to hold private property must be valid. Otherwise, I would have the power to take from you what you have, and you from me. So it seems that we either believe that our life, liberty and property are endowed by our Creator and that the purpose of government is to protect these basic rights, or we believe that these are the property of the state, the collective, the centralized authority, the majority, or what have you. We either believe in one or we submit to the other.
By Ron Baert • Sauk Rapids • September 26, 2014